The first evening of the Tir nam Beann concerts in Edinburgh was given by the Lothian Gaelic choir last night – yes, us! Apparently this is an annual thing, and treated by the choir as a preamble to the Mòd. Well, they say if the dress rehearsal is bad things should be fine on the night! I’m not sure if this counts as the dress rehearsal or not, but I think Jackie will be tearing her hair out and worrying herself silly. It wasn’t very good! Well, two of our Mòd songs were OK, and the other songs were OK - though I didn’t know the other songs and had to stand there like a lemon, not singing – but the third song, the puirt a beul (mouth music, to dance to in the absence of musical instruments) was frankly DREADFUL! It was new to everyone this year, and somehow we just can’t grasp it! It should be easy as there is a lot of repetition , but for some reason we just don’t seem to be able to pick it up! It’s very fast with lots of words to fit in. Maybe that’s the problem?
Oh well, We have one practice night to go before Thurso and the competitions.
There was also a piper, and some of the choir members sang solos or duets, but the best item of the evening was the waulking group! Waulking – working newly woven tweed fabric to soften it, by beating it in a rhythmic fashion against a board or table -was traditionally done by hand . Songs were sung to keep the rhythm going evenly. Our waulking group even had a length of tweed and demonstrated the activity as well as singing the songs. So, here’s the best of the photos I was able to take from where the choir was sitting!
At the interval everyone descended on a huge spread of sandwiches, sausage rolls, scones, pancakes and an assortment of cakes, and cups of tea or coffee. Here’s Martin just finishing off his plate of goodies, and, below, Mairi-Anne and Rena, two of my fellow altos.
Obviously I couldn’t take many pictures but here’s one of our audience arriving! It’s not a big hall, but it was full by the time we started! I think they enjoyed the concert and were sympathetic to our big faux pas – which is something Jackie won’t be!
Anyway, there has really been little else to photograph this week, but hopefully I’ll have more to talk about next time! The coming week seems to be a bit busier than the one just gone!
So, talk again soon.